- What: The 2021 BWF World Championships
- Who: The top four contenders to take home the Men’s singles title
- Where: Palacio de los Deportes Carolina Marín in Huelva, Spain
- When: December 12-19, 2021
Originally founded in 1977, the BWF World Championships is an annual showcase used to determine the various world champions in badminton. Together with the Summer Olympics, the BWF World Championships is the Wrestlemania of the badminton world. The championships were originally founded in 1977, but only became an annual showcase in 2006. Though the event is not held during the Summer Olympics, it is still an annual must-see event for badminton enthusiasts.
With the BWF World Championships taking place later this month, the MTS team takes a closer look at the top contenders for the men’s singles championship below.
|Odds to Win 2021 Men's BWF World Championship|
The Number One Contender: Kento Momota (Odds: TBA)
A two-time world champion, Momota is one of the most devastating players in the game of badminton. Known for his deft play around the net, along with an aggressive style, the 27-year old from Japan is as skilled as they come in the sport. Momota holds the Guinness Book of World Records for “the most badminton men’s singles titles in a season” which he set in 2019 by winning 11 titles. Winning the world titles in 2018 and 2019, he has the incredible opportunity to go for a three-peat in 2021. He is also looking to bounce back after a disappointing showing at the 2020 Summer Olympics where he lost to the unseeded South Korean Heo Kwang-hee in the group stage.
Number Two: Anders Antonsen (TBA)
The runner-up at the 2019 World Championships, Antonsen is a rising star in the sport. Antonsen is coming off a gold medal at the 2021 European Championships held in Kyiv and also a gold medal finish at the 2019 European Games in Minsk. Though he lost to Momota in the finals of the 2019 World Championships, he has had plenty of time to prepare for an upcoming battle with his opponent should the tournament break that way. Antonsen has also been successful in team competitions as well, with gold medal finishes at the 2020 European Men’s Team Championships and the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships.
Number three: Viktor Axelsen (TBA)
One of the most well-rounded athletes in the sport, Axelson is coming off a 2020 Olympic badminton gold medal and is looking to add to his trophy case. The 27-year old from Denmark is one of the rare Olympic and world champions, having won the world title in 2017. In a true showcase of how much parity there is in the sport, he was able to win the Olympic title even after falling short to Antonsen in prior world championships. While he is only 27 years old, Antonsen has made winning European Championships a habit since locking down the European Men’s Team Championship back in 2012 in Amsterdam. While this is certainly a crowded field, the Dane could strike at any time.
Final contender: Chen Long (TBA)
The elder statesman of this group Long is no stranger to winning on the world stage. The 2016 Olympic champion and a former back-to-back world champion (2014-15), Long is one the most decorated stars in the sport. Though he has not won a world title since his gold medal finish at the 2015 world championships in Jakarta, Long is coming off a surprising silver medal finish at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If anyone can pull off another upset it could be Long. His performance at the latest Summer Games shows he still has a little gas left in the tank to make a run to the top.
Prediction: In the pantheon of sports, there have been a number of successful three-peat champions. From the 1990’s Chicago Bulls to the early 2000’s New York Yankees, there have been a handful of squads that have pulled off this feat. Not so much in singles sports, but look for Momota to change all of that later this month in Spain and make history at the BWF World Championships.
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